THIS DIOCESE AND HAITI
One month after the devastating earth quake in neighboring Haiti, the people of this diocese have beautifully responded to my urgent plea for donations and help for this tragic nation. As of this morning, we have collected and forwarded more than $1,356,700 to CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES for their use in alleviating the suffering of the Haitian people with water, food and clothing. Additionally, and I am here guessing, many of our parishes “twin” with parishes in Haiti and have sent what they collected right to those same parishes so my guess is that at least another “$250,000″ has been collected and forwarded to parishes. Such generosity in a time of need must be pleasing to God. I know that I am proud of your generosity.
Also, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Petersburg has been asked by the U.S. government to handle all of the sick and wounded from that country who have been airlifted to Florida. The government chooses the hospitals for the care of the sick, but each patient is allowed to bring two people with them and it is now our duty to find them places to stay and to support them while their loved ones are in the hospitals of the area.
It is beginning to seem like my dream of being the first responder to urgent needs in our area and world is coming true thanks to the vision of Catholic Charities Director Frank Murphy and his colleagues. Another reason to be proud of your Church as we begin this Lenten season of prayer and sacrifice.